Latest NewsInaugural VanPodFest to highlight True Crime, True Justice

Inaugural VanPodFest to highlight True Crime, True Justice

The Vancouver Podcast Festival will make its debut, Nov. 8-10, with three days of panels, workshops, live podcast presentations and tapings, working around the theme “True Crime, True Justice.”

Launched by the folks behind DOXA, Vancouver’s documentary film festival which just celebrated its 27th year, the idea was pitched to the Documentary Media Society by a group of local podcasters who are now helping bring the event to life. They include Andrea Gin (Pop This!), Hannah McGregor (Secret Feminist Agenda and Witch, Please) and Andrea Warner (Pop This!).

“True crime is one of the most popular sub genres in both podcasting and documentary film and television, so we thought for our inaugural year we would focus on true crime and true justice,” said Selina Crammond, director of programming for DOXA.

Crammond says the theme offers up an opportunity to explore the breadth of true crime storytelling, while maintaining DOXA’s commitment to social justice and diverse perspectives.

“We’re looking forward to bringing exceptional podcasters from across Canada and the U.S. to Vancouver, as well as offering a platform for local podcast producers to showcase their work,” said Crammond, whose own interest in documentaries was spurred by brief stints with CBC Radio and Simon Fraser University campus station CJSF-FM Burnaby.

In partnership with CBC Podcasts, the festival will bring some of of the public broadcaster’s most popular podcast offerings to Vancouver, including acclaimed series Someone Knows Something and the much-buzzed-about Uncover: Escaping NXIVM, a new investigative podcast about the alleged cult.

Interested in exploring a satirical approach to the genre, the festival will also collaborate with Kelly&Kelly, producers of hit shows This is That and This Sounds Serious, to present a one-night only improvised true crime podcast with some of the city’s most-talented comedians.

The event will present a number of free, daytime workshops and panels at the Vancouver Public Library’s new theatre and Inspiration Lab. The workshops will give podcasters the opportunity to hone their production skills and listeners a chance to see what goes into the making of a podcast, from idea to creation to output.

Panel discussions will focus on the diversity of true crime podcasts, the relationship between podcasting and journalism, and using podcasts as an educational platform.

Workshops at CBC Vancouver’s Studio 700 will share sound design tricks from award-winning producers, look at how to incorporate journalistic ethics into podcasts, and provide an opportunity to speak with lawyers and justice advocates on how to better tell true stories.

Evening events, including live episodes and on-stage interviews at The Rio Theatre, will feature hosts and producers from popular podcasts:

  • Someone Knows Something: This original true crime podcast from CBC with an international following, focuses on a single Canadian cold case each season in hopes of uncovering new information.

  • You Must Remember This: A storytelling podcast about the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century, and the brainchild of Karina Longworth, who writes, narrates, records and edits each episode in her home. Since launching as a passion project in April 2014, You Must Remember This has become one of the top film podcasts around, and is usually in the Top 100 of all podcasts on iTunes.

  • In The Dark: From American Public Media, Madeleine Baran uncovers injustice and truth in America’s penal system and has won a Peabody Award for her work.

  • Uncover: Escaping NXIVM: A new CBC investigative podcast launching in September which explores the Vancouver-based cult, its leader Keith Raniere, and one woman’s attempt to escape from its clutches.

  • This Sounds Serious: A gripping and hilarious take on the crime genre, The Case of Daniel Bronstadt (A Castbox Original) has garnered more than 1 million listens to date.

  • This is That: Now in its ninth season, the CBC satirical news program is heard by millions of listeners each week and members of the show will perform at VanPodFest as the only Vancouver appearance leading up to their upcoming Canadian tour.

  • Other People’s Problems: A chart-topping podcast from CBC that takes listeners inside a real therapist’s office, bringing mental health into the open.

  • On Drugs: An ongoing investigation from Geoff Turner about our complicated relationship with drugs, from Ibuprofen to ayahuasca.

Pre-sale tickets for VanPodFest go on sale, starting Sept. 17.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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